Quantcast Finally Frugal: An interesting response. . . . .

The bumpy road to financial independence. . . .

 

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

An interesting response. . . . .

Finally, big-name economists are saying the 'R' word. Recession, that is. In fact, after months of wondering "whether", we now seem to be asking "for how long"? I was surprised to learn that my own state, Oregon, is one of 27 now considered to actually be in recession (there are 14 more 'at risk'). Perhaps because I work in public education, I've not witnessed much in the way of layoffs, and therefore, I thought Oregon was doing relatively well (as compared to, say, California).

So, now what? I suppose we go back to our tips on 'how to survive a recession'. Basically, paying down debt and not adding any additional debt is key. But there seem to be others who are taking a rather extreme view of the current economic environment. For example, in this article about a certain Seattle-ite named Atash Hagmahani (which actually is a pseudonym), who is buying nonperishable food in bulk, and generally preparing for an economic emergency he terms the "Greater Depression".

According to the author of the article, there is a small but potentially growing number of Americans who are heading into survivalist mode, what Jim Rawles calls a desire to "secure basic emergency resources that he terms “beans, bullets and Band-Aids.” And I thought I worried too much!

Now, I personally take a more moderate approach to our difficult economic times. As you know, I'm slowly paying down my credit card debt, and will begin increasing my savings by the end of the year. I don't really believe we need to be hunkered down in our houses with a year's supply of rice and beans. However, the article did contain one paragraph that illustrated the benefit that can come of recession, which is quoted here:

"In the last three or four years, Atash Hagmahani has led his clan away from what he calls their former “yuppyish lifestyle.” They no longer eat out, cook most meals from scratch, and rarely drive their one car. They also are all learning practical skills — such as sewing, nursing and wielding a gun for self-defense."
Now, if the current recession means that people are spending less on needless luxury items, saving more, and learning to make do with what they have, I'm all for it. We've lived far too long on credit, and while it will take time for our economy to move from dependence on how much we spend at the mall to other sources of growth (alternative energy, anyone?) we as individuals and as members of our communities can start making important, wallet-enhancing changes at a grass roots level.

3 comments:

marci357 said...

Well I think my county of Oregon has been normally in some type of recession ever since I've lived here - over 30 years. If it's not the fishing, it's the farming, or the logging, or the tourists... and sometimes it's 2 to 4 of them all at once which gets really bad....and that's about all we have here, except the worst roads in the state (certified!)...

So, what I'm getting at is, we are pretty good here already at hunkering down and preparing for the worst, cuz that's the state we seem to constantly live in. Plus we know how to get by without electricity due to the frequent storms here.... And I can assure you I can sew, nurse, and shoot with the best of them, as well as being licensed to carry.

And for the past 27 years, I have rotated in and out a year's supply of beans and rice, plus all that goes with it, and the Band-aids (emergency pack), and the bullets (ammo) for the guns.... So... I think I've been ready for over 27 years now :) And if nothing bad happens, good. I'll eat well anyway :) Remember the Girl Scout motto> A girl scout is always prepared! :)

I would suggest that anyone can learn to raise a vegetable garden...it's a major money saver, and a skill that is being lost and needs to be revived!

ed said...

Your ABC map states that my state, New Hampshire is undergoing an expansion. First hand experience tells me that the economy in my state is totally tanking. The real estate market is pulling a lot of interconnected industries to the brink (and in some cases past) of closing down.

Six months ago five major paper mills shut down in the center of my state. Home prices are free falling and there are massive numbers of furniture stores shutting their doors.

The only new businesses that seem to be starting up are some big chains, like Bed Bath and Beyond, Lowes and Wal-Mart.

Finally Frugal said...

I've been so curious about those states that are called 'in expansion' in that ABC map. What do they mean by that, and how could any state be in expansion mode right now?

Ed, your response is timely! I guess it's really all about where you are and how you're affected. Maybe they really are looking at the big-box strip mall business as part of an expansion, regardless of the other jobs that are being lost (and, after all, during a recession, a job's a job, I suppose!)

Isn't it interesting, too, that what an economist considers an expansion or recession, a "regular person" like me or Ed or Marci might consider to be entirely different? Like Marci's comment that Oregon (at least her rural county) has felt like it's been contracting for years, in spite of the ups and downs of the traditional economic 'markers'.

Hmm, something to keep an eye on! Thanks for your comments!!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...